Allen Ludden (October 5, 1917 – June 9, 1981) was an American television personality, emcee and game show host, perhaps most well known for hosting various incarnations of the game show Password between 1961 and 1980.
Allen Packard Ellsworth was the first child of Elmer Ellsworth, 25, a Nebraska native living in Mineral Point and working as an ice dealer; and his wife Leila M. Allen, age 22, a Wisconsin native and housewife. Elmer Ellsworth died the next winter at age 26, a victim of the worldwide influenza epidemic, on January 6, 1919. When Allen was about five years old, Leila Ellsworth married Homer Ludden Jr., an electrical engineer and the son of H.D. Ludden, the town physician, a Chicago native who had practiced in Mineral Point since 1906. Allen was given his adoptive father's name and became Allen Ellsworth Ludden. The family lived briefly in the small Wisconsin towns of Janesville, Elkhorn, Antigo and Waupaca before moving to Texas when Allen was still a small child.
An English and dramatics major at the University of Texas, Ludden graduated with Phi Beta Kappa honors in 1940 and received his Master of Arts in English from the same university in 1941. He served in the U.S.